In 2015, Nick Roseth presented the idea of a documentary that would feature the technology community in the Minneapolis area to the Minnesota High Tech Association (MTHA). “I was going to tech conferences and noticed how little national visibility there was for the cool events taking place in Minneapolis like MinneDemo,” explained Nick. Since 2015, Nick has filmed, edited, and premiered DocuMNtary, a documentary telling the world to pay attention to the technology ecosystem of Minnesota.

From Business Degree to Film Producer

Nick’s entrepreneurial journey includes working as a part owner of a small digital solution business while taking evening classes to earn a business degree from Metropolitan State University. “I have worked with start-ups in the small business context and would consider myself an adopter of the entrepreneur community of Minneapolis,” shared Nick.

After observing the technology ecosystem for several years, Nick explained that he “wanted to create awareness of the incredible Minnesota tech community.” As a participant in the Ace Leadership Program through MHTA, Nick needed a project to complete and the idea of the documentary gained the approval of the association and local entrepreneurs. The association helped push this idea forward and the technology community got behind a documentary that would tell the story of Minnesota entrepreneurs.

“We raised money through a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $15,000 as we worked towards a release date of the documentary in 2016,” shared Nick. Once the funds were raised, the goal was to produce the documentary as the producer, which included filming and editing. As an advocate for the start-up community, Nick collaborated with Eric Jenson, a start-up photographer and videographer. The two connected through an MHTA event where Eric shared his excitement for Nick’s project. Over the next several months, Nick and Eric could be seen carrying around filming equipment all over Minneapolis, St. Paul and Rochester filming DocuMNtary.
“I had to learn a ton of stuff like editing the film, operating Final Cut Pro, public speaking, talking to hundreds of companies, and fundraising,” says Nick. Over the course of a year, Nick set out to connect with business, celebrate the entrepreneur community and most importantly advocate for the future of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Minnesota. Nick and Eric got to observe first-hand the excitement taking place at companies like Sports Engine and Lead Pages while at the same time uncovering the past history of computer technology in the Minneapolis region.

The Future of DocuMNtary

After the premier of DocuMNtary in September of 2016, Nick has traveled across the state to present the documentary and also speak on bringing technology jobs to different communities across Minnesota (including at TEDxGullLake). Now, Nick is looking towards the future possibilities of this endeavor. “This is an overarching umbrella with more stories to be told for the Minnesota region… I have put together this formula for future stories to be told in other industries,” shared Nick. Currently, Nick and the DocuMNtary team are releasing short audio interviews from the DocuMNtary filming process called MINNEs to continue to raise awareness to the technology ecosystem of Minnesota. “In the years to come, I will consider it a success when someone acknowledges that this video helped them move to Minnesota,” says Nick.

Brent McNeal